Inspiring journeys into the light

IT is not just Bilbo Baggins who winds up on ‘an unexpected journey’.

People with mental illness can also travel a dark and winding path through the thick forest of psychological distress before experiencing salvation.

A mental health story of hope and recovery can be powerful and inspirational when told with humanity, awareness and dignity.

Like The Hobbit, a mental health ‘unexpected journey’ is full of metaphoric dark goblins, giant spiders, fiery dragons, epic battles, courage, bravery and gruelling, treacherous mountain climbs.

Healing from mental afflictions can be a strenuous physical grind with many obstacles darkening the trail.

Glenn has schizophrenia and is a heavy smoker, while Sean has schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia with a mood disorder) and Type 2 diabetes.

After diagnosis at an early age, both men felt isolated and alienated from mainstream society, but found friendship and acceptance at the Mental Illness Fellowship of WA’s (MIFWA) Lorikeet Centre, a psychosocial rehabilitation centre in West Leederville.

Understanding the importance and positive benefits of physical health and eating well, both maintain a walking and bike-riding regimen.

They will also help de-stigmatise mental illness by sharing their transcendental ‘unexpected journey’ of hope, strength and resilience during Schizophrenia Awareness Week (May 12 to 18).

As part of this, MIFWA is running a Linking mind, body, health and wellbeing public forum/workshop on May 16 at The Rise Function Suite, Maylands.

Call MIFWA on 9228 0200 for details.